Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team executive director Toto Wolff hailed Lewis Hamilton’s “perfect” performance en route to victory in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton secured his eighth win of the year to extend his lead atop the drivers’ championship to fifty-nine points over rival Sebastian Vettel, producing an assured display at the Suzuka International Racing Course to win with relative ease.
Although sporadic challenges emerged from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, Wolff acknowledged that Hamilton had the situation under control.
“This was another perfect performance from Lewis,” said Wolff. “He controlled the race from start to finish, taking nothing more out of the tyres and engine than he needed to at any point.
“It got close with Max at a few points, especially in the closing laps when they came up on traffic and were struggling for tyre temperature, but he kept cool and brought it home to the flag.”
Wolff also praised Valtteri Bottas’ spirited drive to fourth in the Grand Prix despite a difficult weekend in which he looked short of confidence relative to team-mate Hamilton.
“[Valtteri] recovered well from the gearbox penalty to claim P4 and come within a few tenths of a second of the podium,” said Wolff.
“He had strong pace today and never gave up pushing to the end, it was a real battling drive.”
Although Mercedes and Hamilton have healthy margins in both championships, Wolff warned the team against complacency throughout the rest of the season, even though Hamilton can mathematically clinch the title in Austin.
“One look at the points standings might give us some brief comfort but anything can happen in motorsport,” said Wolff. “We take no prisoners in how we claim our points – but we are all conscious that we have benefited from our rivals’ misfortune in recent weeks.
“Nothing changes in our approach. We must take the next races one at a time, push to better understand the car and keep our humble attitude. That is the approach that has worked for us so far and the way we will continue until the final race in Abu Dhabi.”